FREDERICTON (GNB) – Students on the Eel Ground and Esgenoôpetitj First Nations will have the opportunity to explore welding through Mind over Metal Camps this summer.

“We know that participation in the trades, art, science and technology significantly impacts the development of competencies such as innovation, creativity and critical thinking,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny. “That is why improving access and exposure to trades is a key objective of your government’s 10-year education plans.”

The department’s Office of First Nation Education has partnered with the CWB Welding Foundation to offer the camps. The foundation is a registered charity that supports the Canadian welding industry by increasing public safety awareness and addressing national imbalances or shortages of skilled tradespeople.

“The CWB Welding Foundation is excited for the Mind Over Metal Camps taking place in the Natoaganeg (Eel Ground) and Esgenoôpetitj communities,” said the foundation’s acting executive director, Andrew Bartlett. “Through our partnership with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, we have been able to fund new equipment in the two community facilities hosting these camps. We are thrilled to offer these camps to two Indigenous communities in New Brunswick and inspire youth to pursue careers in welding.”

Communities will choose about 25 students, aged 12 to 15, to attend the camps where they will learn basic welding and fabrication skills, along with safety.

This is the first time that a Mind over Metal welding camp has been offered on a First Nation in New Brunswick.

The government’s 10-year education plans aim to improve educational outcomes and better prepare young people for the future. They set objectives in priority areas to create lifelong learners, support educational leaders and bring stability to the system.